District Sound: Backwards hats and uninspired pop at Fall Fest

The annual swarm of pinneys, backwards hats and drunken bros – otherwise known as Fall Fest – hits University Yard on Saturday. The crowd, however, would be better served by a longer set of DJ Earworm’s mashup hits than the insipid radio pop of Timeflies.


Electro-pop duo Timeflies’ sound follows an uninspired pop formula, pairing attractive performers with an arsenal of high-pitched beeping sounds and a bevy of vapid lyrics – “On the steady grind, I’m never ever slowin’/Clever as ever, flowin’, makin’ some cheddar and goin’.” Top 40 music can be fun when driven by talent and creativity. But where artists like Lady Gaga bring novelty and experimentalism, Timeflies bring predictable hooks and themes. (Hot girls! City nights! Seduction!) A glut of dubstep-like drops in Timeflies’ music eclipses singer Cal Shapiro’s promising rap skills and flow. The end result is an incessant stream of cacophonous, distorted electronic beats endurable only under severe drunkenness or after pressing the mute button.

Score: Fall Fest is characterized by giving minimal shits and having fun. In all seriousness, Timeflies’ music might just be the best possible soundtrack for the event.
Bore: Simplistic or downright stupid lyrics can be charming when musical skill compensates for them. Unfortunately for Timeflies, there’s nothing to make up for lines like, “Bright eyes, sundress, daddy’s little girl/She changed my life, but you changed my world.”

DJ Earworm

DJ Earworm’s musical compilations do more than just capitalize on massively popular songs: They enliven snippets of catchy tracks, combining hits that blare endlessly from the radio without making you tired of them. The San Francisco-based mashup maestro focuses heavily on modern music, pairing chart-toppers like One Direction’s “You Don’t Know You’re Beautiful” with Bruno Mars’ “Locked out of Heaven.” His mixes aren’t as cleverly compiled as those of his 2011 Fall Fest predecessor, Girl Talk – whose fusion of the Rolling Stones’ “Paint it Black” and Wiz Khalifa’s “Black and Yellow” is pretty ingenious. But DJ Earworm’s mashups are perfectly formulated for mosh pits and a dance-heavy night.

Score: Get your fix of summer hit-makers Robin Thicke, Daft Punk and Icona Pop in one show.
Bore: DJ Earworm’s set is essentially the Top 40 list on repeat, so don’t expect riffs other than the ones you’ve been hearing non-stop throughout the summer. For the thousandth time, everyone! Blurred lines!

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